Recently, Ezra, a New-York-based AI-driven cancer screening platform, disclosed that it had fundraised $4 million in a seed financing round that was led by Accomplice.
Additional financing came from other partners such as Esther Dyson, SeedCamp, Credo Ventures, and Founders Future among other undisclosed angel investors and startup founders.
This financing announcement was combined with its beta prostate cancer screening program launch.
At the moment, the technology can be found in beta stage, particularly at RadNet’s Lenox Hill Radiology facility situated in Manhattan.
However, the program is currently available through invitation only.
Ezra asserted that it is currently working on coming up with a technology that utilizes MRI scans to aid radiologists in conducting their diagnoses.
The technology is yet to be granted the FDA approval, as Ezra is planning to visit the agency in 2019.
Meanwhile, the company’s service is recruiting only board-certified radiologists to scrutinize its MRI scans.
According to a statement made by Ezra, the method provides a noninvasive approach for early cancer detection.
Why is it Important?
According to reports from the American Cancer Society, there are about 164,690 new prostate cancer cases in America every year.
The society also said that one out of nine men would be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime, impacting both black and older men at a higher rate.
Nonetheless, the prostate cancer survival rates are high; for patients with both regional and local stage prostate cancer, their survival rate is approximately 100%.
Also, the American Cancer Society said that the rate drops to 29%, especially for patients with distant stage cancer, which means that cancer has already spread into all their distant bones, nodes or even other organs.
“We should all check our bodies for cancer as part of our routine health regimen. To make that possible, we’re aiming to combine a better patient experience with the most advanced medical imaging technology and the Ezra AI. Our goal is to improve the speed, accuracy, and affordability of cancer screening,” Emi Gal, CEO, and co-founder of Ezra, said in a statement.
What is the Trend
The use of artificial intelligence for both diagnostics and screening has grown increasingly popular, particularly in the healthcare space.
Renalytix Ai, a New York-based startup known for making a clinical diagnostic that utilizes artificial intelligence for diagnosing kidney disease, managed to secure a whopping $29 million in a financing round held on Friday.
Imaging has been a key area of interest for many companies.
Back in October, Visla Labs, an AI-driven medical imaging diagnostic firm, landed a staggering $3 million in seed financing.
Furthermore, two Israeli-based startups including Zebra Medical Vision and AiDoc have also been making considerable strides in this field, whereby the former startup raised $30 million in June while the latter secured $7 million in 2017.
On the record
“Emi, his CTO and co-founder, Diego Cantor, and their team are working to bring fast, affordable and accurate cancer screening to everyone, and we’re humbled to be able to back them,” Sarah A. Downey, principal at Accomplice, asserted in a statement.